Turabian citations/references required
All course work must follow current Turabian Author-Date style, contain all sections required by current Turabian format (e.g., title page, reference list), and must be in 12-point, Times New Roman font.
Remember that this is a research and writing course, with an emphasis on analytical reasoning and current Turabian format. Therefore, grading of each assignment will emphasize the quality and substance of the research used in the paper, the quality of the analysis and reasoning employed in the paper, the grammar and mechanics of the paper, and the proper use of current Turabian format. You are responsible to review and understand all instructions, grading rubrics, and current Turabian format.
Reply to the following response with *** 300 words minimum, including direct questions to the post ***. (please make response as if having a conversation, respond directly to some of the statements in below post. This is not providing an analysis of the original post. Respectfully address it and even ask clarifying or additional questions.)
Responding to a classmate’s post requires both the addition of new ideas and analysis. A particular point made by the classmate must be addressed and built upon by your analysis in order to move the conversation forward. Reply posts that merely affirm, restate or unprofessionally quarrel with the previous post(s) and fail to make a valuable, substantive contribution to the discussion will receive appropriate point deductions.
** These responses are to be informative and contribute to advancing the knowledge of the topic **.
Determine the quality of your classmates’ chosen articles by comparing and contrasting the criteria they applied with the criteria you used to appraise your articles.
The Founding Fathers, Second Amendment, and the Supreme Court
I have chosen to focus my Public Policy Research Paper on a question concerning recent decisions of the United States Supreme Court as they concern the second amendment to the United States Constitution. Are the recent second amendment decisions from the Supreme Court consistent with the original intentions of our Founding Fathers’ as they relate to the Second Amendment?
In researching one example of analytical writing and one of the writer’s opinion, I discovered a treasure trove of research and opinion pieces devoted to the topic of the Second Amendment and the Framers’ intentions. Some of these examples were written shortly after ratification of the Bill of Rights, when the arguments concerning the meaning and intention of the Second Amendment were still new and uncontested. I settled on an analytical work by Izabela Kraśnicka (2014) and an opinion piece by retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, John Paul Stevens (2018).
Kraśnicka grounds her work in the original interpretation of the Second Amendment, or what the Framers’ had in mind when they wrote the one-sentence amendment. She describes the crucial question concerning the amendment’s interpretation as whether the provisions only allow the right to keep firearms in conjunction with service in a state’s militia, or, do they apply to every citizen of the free states and provide that these citizens can keep firearms for their use and protection irregardless of service within a state’s militia? Kraśnicka provides the reader with significant research concerning both sides of competing arguments about the historical and modern day Second Amendment challenges.
In contrast, John Paul Stevens provides the reader with his perspective of the Second Amendment and the amendment’s appropriateness in modern day America. He begins by describing an outward showing of support he witnessed in the Washington, D.C. area concerning, “…legislation to minimize the risk of mass killings of school children…” (Stevens 2018, 1). The appeal to the reader’s emotions is something not found in Kraśnicka work. Justice Stevens continues by describing what he believes the Second Amendment’s interpretation is by stating, “Concern that a national standing army might pose a threat to the security of the separate states led to the adoption of that amendment…” (Stevens 2018, 1). He follows this by stating that the concern that an federal army would invade a free state is a, “…a relic of the 18th century” (Stevens 2018, 1). Here, he again appeals to the emotions of the reader when he equates the original intention of the amendment to be irrelevant today.
Both Kraśnicka and Justice Stevens then focus their work on the 2008 United States Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller (Solum 2009). Heller claimed that the prohibitions against possessing firearms within the home, inside the geographical limits of the District of Columbia, was contrary to the intention of the Second Amendment (Solum 2009). Justice Stevens, a member of the Court at the time of this decision, authored one of two dissenting opinions concerning the decision. The Heller decision is credited as the first ever Supreme Court decision which, “…interpreted the Second Amendment as granting an individual right to each American citizen to keep and bear arms” (Kraśnicka 2014, 134) . Justice Stevens notes that this decision was incorrect and goes on to explain how it, “…provided the N.R.A. with a propaganda weapon of immense power” (Stevens 2018, 1). The striking difference between both works becomes apparent again when the Justice appeals to the emotions of the anti-gun, anti-N.R.A. supporters.
Kraśnicka concludes her writing by illustrating the different opinions of the Court in the Heller decision. She then describes the decision in an analytical manner by stating that the meaning of the Second Amendment has been clarified and this decision will stand the test of time until again challenged and potentially revised by the same court that gave us the Heller decision. In contrast, Justice Stevens calls for the repeal of the Second Amendment and relates that it is the only way to, “…make our schoolchildren safer than they have been since 2008…” (Stevens 2018, 1).
The works of Kraśnicka and Justice Stevens differ in their style, thoroughness and the tone in which they convey their message. Kraśnicka makes use of a significant number of sources to legitimize the content of her work. Justice Stevens relies on wisdom garnered from years of work as a lawyer, judge and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. The difference in the two can be seen in the time and effort taken to complete the research and writing. In Proverbs 2:4-8, Solomon teaches, “If you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God” (ESV). It is evident that Kraśnicka sought information for her literary work as if she were seeking a rare, hidden treasure. Solomon also said, “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity” (Proverbs 2:6-7 ESV). Cannot it be said that the wisdom possessed within Justice Stevens originated from our great God because of the Justices’ unrelenting belief in the Constitution, the rule of law, and righteousness?
Justice Stevens authored a short opinion piece concerning the decision in the District of Columbia v. Heller and supported it with his years of experience as a Justice and participation on the court that decided the case. Kraśnicka used the resources available to her to compile a significant list of references used to write her paper. Both authors completed their works with knowledge obtained in two very different manners. Both sought the knowledge as if they were seeking a rare treasure, it simply took two very different amounts of time to complete.
Kraśnicka, Izabela. “Living or Dead? Specifics of the Language of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.” Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 38, no. 1 (2014): 123-136.
Solum, Lawrence B. “District of Columbia V. Heller and Originalism.” Northwestern University Law Review 103, no. 2 (2009): 923-981.
Stevens, John Paul. “John Paul Stevens: Repeal the Second Amendment.” The New York Times, March 27, 2018.
Objective v. Opinion Writing
Objective writing unlike opinion writing is substantiated by research and thorough analysis. Objective writing discusses an issue, focuses narrowly on one aspect of the issue and provides facts that are pertinent to that aspect to support the conclusion. Opinion writing, on the other hand, asks the reader to believe the author based on nothing more than what the author wrote. There is no supporting facts just the writer’s view on the topic. Objective writing supersedes opinion writing in that the author uses logic and evidence to support his or her claim and not emotion.
The first article chosen was written in the New York Times and entitled “The Future of Personhood Nation.” It is an opinion piece which tries to sway the reader against “personhood” rights for a fetus. The authors create fear in the reader by stating that it is ” only a matter of time before women’s reproductive rights are ratcheted back…[and] all abortions…illegal” (The Future of Personhood Nation, para 1). This statement is supported by the fact that the “Supreme Court has a conservative majority” (The Future of Personhood Nation, para 1). The author does not research past decisions by the Justices and assumes all the conservative Justices will role back abortion without hearing facts first. The article provides no legal definition of a person and leaves room for the argument of when does life really begin. The writers obviously chose a side on a controversial issue and made no room for compromise.
Unlike the New York Times article, in Forsythe and Arago’s article “Roe V. Wade & The Legal Implications of State Constitutional “Personhood” Amendments,” the writers use evidence and logic to conclude their analysis. The New York Times article consists of approximately ten paragraphs of information with no evidence to support its claim whereas Forsythe and Arago’s forty eight page article references numerous state and federal court decisions on abortion, state laws, and prior research on the subject of abortion. The authors break up the article into five separate sections to include the “history and current legal protection for the unborn child…whether “personhood” conflict with Roe V Wade…practical legal implications of applying the due process to developing human beings” and practical legal implications of applying the equal protection clause to the unborn (Forsythe & Arago 2016, 277). Detailed discussion accompany each section. For instance, under the current legal protection for the unborn, the author examines the “quickening rule” which states that 16 to 18 weeks is the “first reliable evidence of fetal life” and then discusses the “born alive rule” which states homicide of an unborn cannot be prosecuted unless the child was born alive and then passed (Forsythe & Arago, 279 & 280). The authors provide more critical information on the issue as opposed to the opinion piece which generaled or oversimplified. The authors, Forsythe and Arago, are objective and use research and reason to support their question whether “state constitutional amendments are effective means for changing public policy, for protecting human life, or for challenging Roe v. Wade” (Forsythe & Arago, 276 & 277). The analysis argues some of the legal pitfalls with strategies previously used and conclude by suggesting new ways advocates can possibly achieve “personhood” for a fetus. This research adds value to the issue. The objective article praises Proverb 2:1-11 in that the writers seek wisdom and understanding of the issue and do not rely on mere emotions to convey their message.
Forsythe, Clark D. and Arago, Keith. 2016. “Roe V. Wade & The Legal Implications of State Constitutional “Personhood” Amendments. Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy. 273:30.
The Editoral Board. 2018. “The Future of Personhood Nation.” New York Times. December 28, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/12/28/opinion/abortion-law-pro-life.html
** Please don’t just rephrase their info, but respond to it. Remember to answer question at the end if there is one. **